London, Asharq Al-Awsat- Regime change in Iran is necessary for the Kurds to obtain their rights, according to the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran.
The Kurdish opposition group, led by Mustapha Hedjri, has intensified its activities in recent months, as Tehran is increasingly under international pressure because of its nuclear program.
As part of its campaign against the Iranian regime, officials visited European capitals last week, including London, where they sought to publicize their concerns.
Asharq al Awsat met Secretary-General Hedjri who said Europe “Unfortunately, cares more about its interests in Iran and not the rights of the Kurds.” On the use of armed force to oust the current regime in Tehran, Hedjri said, “All means, with the exception of terrorism are permitted to achieve this objective. But, for the time being, we have not engaged in armed confrontation.”
With Iraqi officials accusing Iran of bombing Kurdish targets inside their territory, the Kurdish leader said, “According to the information at our disposal, Iran and Turkey have mobilized their troops on the border with Iraqi Kurdistan but we don’t have details about the number of troops.”
Tehran and Ankara, Hedjri added, both target the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its leadership in Turkey . “The two countries have been coordinating their operations against the PKK for some time and were waiting for the climate to improve in order to carry out this military operation because the mountainous terrain makes it difficult during winter.”
On his party’s relations with the PKK, banned in Turkey, the Kurdish leader said, “We have no relations with them. They are not close to us. They operate on the other side of the border.”
As long as the clerics remained in power in Iran , Hedjri said, minorities will not be granted their full rights. This, he added, is why regime change was a priority for the Kurdish group. “If the US and Europe ascertain that Iran has nuclear weapons, they will change the regime in Tehran.”
“The Islamic Republic approaches the issue of minority from a security angle only. All those who demand their rights are accused of being agents of the US and Israel . Since the Kurds in Iraq obtained some of their rights, the Iranian regime has tightened its control over us.”
Hedjri revealed that his party had forged an alliance with seven other groups who representing minorities in Iran , including the Baluchs and Arabs in Ahvaz , the Trukomen and Azeris.
Outlining his plan to visit the US, where he hoped to meet with administration officials, Hedjri expressed hope “the US would offer its support in order for us to obtain our rights” but indicated he was not aware of “the details of US plans to finance programs to spread democracy in Iran.”
“Our party has worked for 60 years to support our people but it is only natural we ask for assistance from other democratic countries. European countries care more about their national and commercial interests than human rights in Iran”.
However, with the election of conservative Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, “it is crucially to discuss human rights violation, especially given the human rights abuses during his reign.”